Press Release Orsini: ‘We Need Someone to Start a Body-To-Body Combat against the ISIS’


    _ ‘The air strategy has only been partially effective. The Islamic State can only be defeated if ground troops are sent to the area’

    _ Something that has drawn attention is the risk that, after an eventual defeat, ‘hundreds of militants of European origin could return to their cities’

    _ Alonso: ‘We must have an effect on political leadership, social mobilization and awareness. We must learn to be militant societies’

    _ He warned that the cognitive radicalization that precedes the violent one is not sufficiently taken into account by the West

The director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism at the University of Rome, Alessandro Orsini, has said today that ‘someone needs to start a body-to-body combat against the militants of Isis’, and that ‘so far, the West has fought using only the little finger’. Orsini participated in a discussion at the FAES Campus on strategies before the Islamic State, in which the director of the Master on Terrorism at Rey Juan Carlos University, Rogelio Alonso, said that ‘we must have an effect on political leadership, social mobilization and awareness’ and ‘learn to be militant societies’.

‘The US strategy against the ISIS has only been partially effective,’ Orsini stated, who emphasized that ‘the data tell us that the planes are not enough’. ‘From September 2014 to April 2015, the international coalition has launched 4,150 air raids on ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria, but 75 percent of those missions returned to base without making a single shot,’ he said. ‘ISIS is an enemy that hides among the population and therefore it is very difficult to identify. It can only be defeated if ground troops are sent to the area,’ he added.

In his conference, he drew attention to the risk that, after an eventual defeat of ISIS, ‘hundreds of militants of European origin could flee to the Mediterranean to return to their cities’. Cities, he said, ‘that the ISIS is 'doing us a favour' by emptying them of terrorists’, as ‘unlike Al Qaeda, Al Baghdadi is interested in importing terrorists to the caliphate.’

He has also drawn attention to the role that Iran could play in combating the ISIS in the context of negotiations on its nuclear capability. ‘Its intervention may be decisive in that it is committed to send troops to the area’, he stressed.

Orsini also pointed out that terrorist attacks in the world increased by 30 percent in 2013-2014, ‘although the tendency is that they have shifted to the Middle East, West Africa and Southeast Asia.’ ‘The intelligence services of Western countries are working’, Orsini said, who explained that ‘between 2008 and 2013 only two of the 49 terrorist plots on European soil were successful.’

These actions on European soil, in his opinion, follow ‘a logic that we can reconstruct “we strike those who strike us.”’ ‘The countries most hated by the ISIS are the most involved in the fight against global terror and in the interests of Muslim countries: the UK and France,’ Orsini stated, who has acknowledged that ‘It is brutal to say it like this, but the terrorists have told us with their actions that before Rome come Paris and London.’

‘To say that there is a jihadist logic does not mean we have to live with serenity, but managing to get into the head of the terrorists helps us curb our fears,’ he assured.

Both were introduced by the lawyer of the Association of Victims of Terrorism, Carmen Ladrón de Guevara, who contextualized the issue and said ‘for a state to be strong it must have clear ideas and solid principles against terrorism’.

Rogelio Alonso said that ‘one of the explanatory factors of terrorism is the expansion of radical Islam’. ‘Sometimes the political decision-maker sets his goals on the threat but does not notice the cognitive radicalization that precedes the violent one,’ he said. And he stressed that radical and undemocratic ideologies ‘are going to facilitate the qualitative shift to violent radicalization’ and even though ‘it is considered that ideas do not commit crimes, they become the main catalyst of violence,’ which means it is ‘important to act on this element as a risk before it develops.’

Alonso has also explained that ‘today, there are actors in our country who are helping this expansion.’ He thus referred to associations which ‘instead of acting as a retaining wall, they have sometimes become transmission belts’, and stressed the need to ‘design response mechanisms’ so that this does not lead to the ‘realization of violence. ‘

In his view, ‘we must have an effect on political leadership, social mobilization and awareness, in the sense that this is a threat that is going to survive and we must learn to live with it.’ ‘We must learn to be militant societies, which can respond to terrorism, which are resistant, which do not allow themselves to be negatively conditioned as the terrorists want, and which responds in a way that limits the impact that terrorism seeks to generate’ he added.

He also explained that ‘the problem is not only to design strategies but to implement them, and here we have a very significant delay and a very large deficit’ and there is ‘lack of political will.’ In this regard, he said that ‘applying such strategies is complex and requires global vision and coordination.’ ‘Essential in the strategy are pedagogy, communicative action, including coercive, persuasive, defensive, paraphernalia,’ he stated.